Getting Started as a Work-at-Home Mom

  • 01 of 05

    Work-at-Home Moms: Decide If It's Right for You


    So you think that you want to join the ranks of successful work-at-home moms who make money while staying home, but you have some questions:

    All good questions. As work-at-home moms who've done it know, it can tough to go from working outside the home to a home-based job. 

    The first step to joining the ranks of successful work-at-home moms is not finding a...MORE job or starting a business. It is taking a long hard look at yourself, your family, your employer (if you have one) and your resume and deciding if being a work-at-home mom is what you want.

    Think about whether you have the personality traits of work-at-home moms, what you'd like to gain from working from home and what you might have to give up. Then consider these:

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    What's the Right Career Path for You?

    Ezra Bailey/Getty

    There's no single way for work-at-home moms to be successful. There are many careers for work-at-home moms. Do some research.

    Perhaps, you could

    • telecommute the job you already have
    • become a consultant or freelancer
    • start your own business
    • find a new telecommuting job in your field of expertise 
    • dive into something entirely different

    Whether you're in the workplace now or you're a stay-at-home mom, the best place to start is with your own resume. If employed, can you negotiate a flexible...MORE work schedule that includes working from home?

    If you've already left the workforce, look back at your last job. Network with your former co-workers. They may know of openings or freelance work that could be done from home. Search national job listings for that type of work with "telecommute" or "work at home" as additional keywords.

    If your skill set or current career is not a good match for working at home, consider breaking out into a new field. Online learning is one approach. Starting a home business is another. If you do opt for a new career, keep in mind that you may need to hone your skills in a traditional workplace before becoming a home-based worker.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Prioritize Your Needs

    Kid Making Dessert with Mother

    You've probably figured out by now that no work/home situation is perfect. But to get as close as possible to your own ideal, you and your family must set priorities. For work-at-home moms this means, breaking down the reasons to work at home into two groups: reasons to work and reasons to work from home, then rank them.

    Here are a few, but you may have more.

    Reasons to work:

    • Financial need/security
    • Career advancement
    • Save for retirement/college
    • Personal fulfillment
    • Pay debt

    Reasons to work from...MORE home:

    • Spend more time with kids
    • Eliminate commute
    • Save money on childcare
    • Leave unpleasant work environment
    • Reduce stress

    As you look at job possibilities for work at home moms, think about how they fit with these priorities. While you're setting priorities is a good time to review the drawbacks of working from home.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Plan the Practical Aspects


    Most work-at-home moms don't start out with a full-time telecommuting position right away. The work-at-home lifestyle is usually something you build over time. In fact, you may need to build up your savings first. Plan to start small. If you're moving from the office to telecommuting, maybe try just a couple days a week at first to see how it works for you and your employer. And, of course, if you're building a business that takes time.

    • Child Care - Figure out how much and what kind...MORE of childcare you'll need.
    • Ground Rules - Adjusting to working from home can be a difficult transition for you and your family. Clear rules and expectations can ease the way.
    • Home Office - Find a place of your own, somewhere within your house, and set it up with all the home office essentials.
    • Organization - Systems for organizing for both life and home may have to be created or tweaked to make working from home go smoothly.
    • Building a Nest Egg - Starting small can mean a reduction of income in the short term, so you must plan for this.
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Find a Work-at-Home Job

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    If after mulling all your options and thinking out the practical aspects of becoming a work-at-home mom, you've decided to start looking for a work-at-home job, then here are some job listings for work-at-home moms.

    But do your research and be sure opportunities are legitimate. Learn how to spot a work-at-home scam.